Thursday, May 1, 2014

Judge Says Woman Should Lose Home Because She Forgot $6.30 Tax Bill

A judge in Pennsylvania has decided a widow should lose her home because she didn't pay $6.30 in unpaid interest on a tax bill.  
Eileen Battisti might get kicked out of her
house because she didn't notice and didn't pay
 a $6.30 tax bill.  

Hey, they sent Eileen Battisti the bill. She should have noticed it. There are consequences for not paying the bill, the judge seems to say, ignoring his own lack of a sense of proportion.

As the lawyers involve note, yes, on a strictly legal basis, the tax authority can take the home because the woman didn't pay the $6.30.

But you'd think a little humanity would work itself in. Maybe make her pay double, or triple or even ten times that $6.30 as punishment.

According to the Associated Press:

"Joe Askcar, Beaver County's chief solicitor, said the judge got the decision right, based on the law.

'The county never wants to see anybody lose their home, but at the same time, the tax sale law, the tax real estate law, doesn't give a whole lot of room for error, either,' Askar said."

Yeah, and I'm sure nobody in the Beaver County tax department has EVER made a $6.30 error. And if somebody there DID make a $6.30 error, they were fired, right? Or better yet, taken to a back alley, beaten, then shot to death, right?

Because the punishment has to fit the crime, right?

The decision was described as right, based on the law. Why is the law so harsh and stupid? Why do tax authorities seem so intent on wanting to seize property on technicalities?  If the law is so off kilter, why isn't anyone moving to change it?

As for Battisti, she said her husband handled the paperwork for the property's taxes until he died in 2004.

"It's bad - she had some hard times, I guess her husband kind of took care of a lot of that stuff," Askar said. "It seemed that she was having a hard time coping with the loss of her husband -and that just made it set in a little more."

I wonder how much money the county tax bureau there in Pennsylvania has spent on legal costs for this case?  How many thousands of dollars over $6.30?

I know they'll make a killing if they succeed in seizing Battisti's house. But she's appealing the decision against her, and the legal fees will keep spiraling up.

But I guess tax authorities in Beaver County, Pennsylvania get their jollies out of kicking widows out of their houses and into the streets.

Gives them a sense of power, I guess.

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